Watching TV programs in English is a great way to improve your English. I always suggest doing so to my students. TV dramas and sitcoms (situation comedy) are the best because those give you the chance to listen to conversational English. It’s also a good way to learn everyday, casual English. For today’s lesson, I’ve taken a few lines from Gossip Girl, season 1, episode 2.
Erik and Serena are chatting about her date with Dan. At the end of the date, Dan waved goodbye.
- Erik : So he waved? I wouldn’t have taken him for a waver.
- Serena: No, he was just trying to be funny.
I wouldn’t have taken him for a waver means, I’m surprise to hear that he is a waver. We often use this expression when we are surprised to learn about someone’s character or personality.
- I heard that Jack’s wife caught him cheating on her. I wouldn’t have taken him for a cheater.
- The salesman told me this was a real diamond, but I later found out it was fake. I wouldn’t have taken him for a liar.
Next, Dan is talking to his sister Jenny about the same wave. He uses two useful idioms here:
- Dan: At the end of a date? Come on, there’s no such thing. And you only get one shot with a girl like Serena. I got mine and I blew it.
The phrase get one shot or get a shot means to get a chance to do something. Here, Dan is lamenting that you can only have one chance to impress a girl like Serena. You can get a shot or have a shot.
- Tom has a shot to be the next company president.
- I’m hoping to get a shot to meet a celebrity when I go to Hollywood next month.
The idiom, blow [something] means to fail at doing something. Dan had a chance to impress Serena, but he failed, he blew his chance.
- I think I blew my chemistry exam. I should have studied harder.
- Jim: How were the negotiations with ABC company?
- Bob: I think we blew it. They didn’t sign the contract.
In the next scene, Nate and Chuck are talking about the black eye Chuck got from Dan.
- Nate: That kid popped [hit] you pretty good, huh? Never mess with a guy’s sister.
The idiom mess with means to interfere with or bother someone.
- Don’t mess with me today. I’m in a bad mood.
- Kevin was messing with Nobi while she was working, and she got angry with him.
- The walls in this building are messing with the cell phone signal. I can’t make a call.
If you know anyone who might be interested in this English language point, why not help them out! Just share this lesson with them. Thanks for studying today!